Sodomy in the Church of God Study No. 179

It affects everyone from five to one hundred and five. It is a relentless, persistent, pervasive problem that is getting worse as time goes on. Although the Church of God has been woefully silent on this sensitive subject, something must be said, even at the possibility of alienating those Sabbatarians who openly promote the gay and lesbian agenda of gaining social and religious acceptance for their perverse sexual inclination. The "agenda," as it is known, is not merely to normalize homosexuality, but every form of sexual perversion devised by the mind of the destroyer, Satan the Devil.

Sexual Sins from the Beginning

Godís Word, the Bible, does not waste any time explaining how the Creator feels about homosexuality and sex sins. God created male and female to establish a loving family relationship. He created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, not Adam and Eve and Cathy, Genesis 1:27, 2:20-24. Husband and wife were created to have sexual relations and a one-flesh, monogamous, relationship.

And it did not take long for Satan to pervert what God ordained. Sexual sins were a major component of the extreme wickedness of the pre-Flood world. "The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted His way upon the earth," Genesis 6:11-12. The Hebrew word translated "violence," is the same word used to refer to the "wrong" of Sarahís urging of Abram to commit adultery with Hagar, Genesis 16:5, one of the many scriptures which show polygamy is a sin. And, the same Hebrew word is used in Malachi 2:16, referring to the violence of divorcing the wife of oneís youth.

Then, when this wicked society had been destroyed by the Flood, the new population immediately resumed a wicked course. They failed to learn the lesson that sin always results in destruction. Noah became drunk, and was violated by his son Ham, or Hamís son Canaan, Genesis 9:18-25. It is possible that the sin here was a homosexual act. Nimrod, grandson of Ham, Genesis 10:6-9, is said by some historians to have married his own mother, Semiramis.

In the time of Abraham, there were two cities notorious for sexual sins and licentious pleasure: Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot made the wrong decision when he chose to live among them on the cities of the plain. The Lord and two angels met Abraham, informing him that God would destroy these wicked cities: "And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievious," Genesis 18:20. Now, Abraham, unlike some gay bashers of today, was more concerned about rescuing his nephew Lot, than he was about destroying the wicked Sodomites. He implored the Lord, "Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?" Genesis 18:23. The Creator, merciful as always, said He would not destroy the wicked city if there were only ten righteous persons in it. But, there were not that many followers of the Almighty. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was inevitable.

Now Lot was like many in the Church of God today. He did not like living in Sodom, but he did nothing to get out of it. Phoenix, San Francisco, Miami, New York, or whatever sin-filled big city of today, is much like Sodom. If you live in such flesh pots, it would be to your spiritual benefit to flee such places of sodomy. But, like Lot, God may have to drag you out of this harmful environment. Lot may have had good intentions, but his reaction when the people of Sodom wanted to sodomize the two angels staying in his house, is shocking. Lot offered his two virgin daughters in order to prevent the sin of sodomy to the angels, Genesis 19:1-11. The Sodomites railed against Lot, claiming that he wanted to be their judge. Likewise, sodomites today, do not want to be told they are doing wrong.

Evidence of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah can be seen today on the shores of the Dead Sea. Amateur archeologist Ron Wyatt has located and filmed balls of sulfur in the area. This destruction is an object lesson for us today. "[God] turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly: And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation [conduct] of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished," II Peter 2:6-9.

Lessons from the Sins of Sodom

There are some surprising facts about Sodom and its sins.

In Ezekiel 16, God compares Judah to "Sodom and her daughters," verse 46. Actually, the sins of Sodom were minor compared to those of Judah. "As I live, saith the Lord God, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. Behold, this was the iniquity of they sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away a I saw good," verses 48-50. Yes, Sodomites committed abominable sex sins, but there was much more. They were full of pride of their sins; they were rich and increased with goods, full of idle time and time for pleasure instead of time for God. In fact, Sodom was much like todayís Laodicean society! It is not a coincidence that Sodom had pride, and todayís sodomites are touting "gay pride." God says, "For thy sister Sodom was not mentioned by thy mouth in the day of thy pride," verse 56. In Revelation 11:8, God compares Jerusalem to Sodom. Todayís sodomites do not mention the destruction of Sodom as Godís judgment against homosexuality. And, they are destined to face a similar fate unless they repent.

"Coming out of the closet" was prophesied, for "they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! For they have rewarded evil unto themselves," Isaiah 3:9. Just as ancient Israel and Judah fell, so todayís Israel shall fall, in part because of the sins of Sodom. See Isaiah 3:6-8. In Isaiah 1:9-10; Jeremiah 23:14, we see that the rulers and prophets of Israel are compared to Sodomites. There may be more truth to this today than we realize. Bill Clinton has been Americaís most pro-homosexual President ever. On June 6, 1999, Clinton went over the heads of Congress and appointed James Hormel as ambassador to Luxembourg. Hormelís appointment had been held up by Congress until Clinton pushed it through during a congressional recess. Hormel considers himself the "elder statesman" of San Franciscoís homosexual community. In 1965, he left his wife and five children to live with a homosexual partner. This is a man worthy of representing the United States? President Clinton has aggressively pushed the homosexual agenda.

Babylon and Moab and Ammon shall be overthrown as Sodom and Gomorrah, Isaiah 13:19; Jeremiah 50:40; Zephaniah 2:9. But the punishment of Israel will be worse than that, Lamentations 4:6; Amos 4:11.

Sodom was destroyed by fire, but in the second resurrection, the people of that ancient city will be judged. The good news is that many of them will repent and be converted. The bad news is that many subsequent sodomites will not repent. Speaking of those cities who rejected His message and miracles, Jesus said, "It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city," Matthew 10:15. In Matthew 11:23, Jesus said, "And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell, for if the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day." The lesson of Sodom and Gomorrha is that we need to repent, NOW.

Statutes Forbid Homosexuality and Lesbianism

Sodomy, anal intercourse, was a sin from the very beginning. The codification of the law against it in the Torah, was a restatement of Godís original law. Otherwise, God was unfair when He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination," Leviticus 18:22. "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them," Leviticus 20:13. One sex sin usually leads to another. Notice that in both cases of the statute forbidding sodomy, there follows the prohibition against bestiality, Leviticus 18:22, 23, 20:13, 15.

And, we see in Deuteronomy 23:17 the prohibition of Lesbianism, "There shall be no whore [margin: "sodomitess"] of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel." Notice also in verse 18, "Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog [male prostitute] into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God." The word "dog" in the Bible is sometimes used to refer to a homosexual male.

Condemning Sodomy a Theme of Paul

We see in the New Testament a continuity of teaching against sodomy. The Greek culture had lots of homosexuality and other sexual perversions. There were Temple prostitutes, male and female, and the word "Lesbian" comes from the notoriety of perverted women on the Greek island of Lesbos. San Francisco, Portland, Sydney, and Atlanta, notorious homosexual cities of today, have nothing on the Greek world. Paul lambasted the sexual perversion of his day.

Romans 1:18-32 is a remarkable condemnation of the evils of Paulís day, and our day. The Truth of God is known. However, unrighteous men hold back the Truth because of their ungodliness. The creation is solid evidence proving the existence of the all-powerful Creator. Yet man created his evolutionary concepts to escape from God, to try to escape from accountability for his sins. So then, God gave them up to uncleanness, "to dishonour their own bodies between themselves," verse 24. Wicked men changed the Truth of God into the lie of evolution, worshipping the creation instead of the Creator. "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet," verses 26-27. Yes, venereal diseases and AIDS are a fitting recompence for such sexual perversion. Paul adds that those who do such things know better. "Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them," verse 32.

In I Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul continues, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." When Paul told us not to defile our bodies, which are the temples of Godís Spirit, he primarily had sexual sins in mind, verses 18-20.

Godís law was not made for a righteous man who obeys it from the heart, but for the lawless and disobedient, including those who "defile themselves with mankind," I Timothy 1:9-10.

A Key to Understanding the Last Days

Jude is one of the strongest books of the Bible. We are exhorted to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. Ungodly men have crept into the Church and turned Godís grace into lasciviousness (license to sin), Jude 3-4. What clearer picture than those ministers who promote the acceptance of sodomy. We ought to remember the lesson that the rebellious angels were defeated, "even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh [other than God-ordained], are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire," Jude 6-7. Giving oneself over to a sin is justifying the sin, fooling oneself into believing it is not a sin. This is exactly what todayís sodomites have done.

But then Jesus Himself prophesied of todayís sin-sick sodomite society. He said that the days of His return would be like the days of Noah, and the days of Lot, Luke 17:27-30.

Here is a stark contrast: the Bible, Old and New Testament, contains warnings, condemnations, and judgments against sodomy, while the Church of God today largely ignores this topic. One must therefore conclude that sodomy, or tolerance of sodomy, has gained a strong foothold in the Church.

The number one moral and social problem of our time is largely ignored by the Church of God!

Sodomy a Pervasive Problem in Israel

The Bible has much more to say about sodomy than many realize.

Judges 19:16-30 reports a horrible crime when certain Benjamites wanted to commit sodomy against a guest of a Levite, and instead abused and killed the Leviteís concubine. It was the worst crime since the children of Israel came out of Egypt, verse 30.

During the evil reign of Rehoboam, son of Solomon, Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord and worshipped idols, I Kings 14:21-23. Notice, "And there were sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord cast out before the children of Israel," verse 24. Years later, King Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, "And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made," I Kings 15:11-12. Asa did not completely eradicate this sin, for later we read of King Jehoshaphat, "And the remnant of the sodomites, which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took out of the land," I Kings 22:46.

Thus, we see that sodomy was a common problem in Israel. There appears to be an Israelite tendency to ignore and do nothing about the sin of sodomy. Ancient Israel, like modern Israel, had a very tolerant attitude about homosexuality.

Feminism and Homosexuality

Like a hand in a glove, todayís feminist movement is adjunct to sodomy. As Francis Schaeffer and Samuele Bacchiocchi point out, when you accept the falsehood that there are no role distinctions between sexes, you must therefore accept that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality. In his paper, "Crisis of Faith in Western Europe," Dr. Bacchiocchi quotes Schaeffer, "If we accept the idea of equality without distinctions, we logically must accept the ideas of abortion and homosexuality. For if there are no significant distinctions between men and women, then certainly we cannot condemn homosexual relationships. And if there are no significant distinctions, this fiction can be maintained only by the use of abortion-on-demand as a means of coping with the most profound evidence that distinctions really exist." A natural consequence of the movement to ordain women as Church pastors (which is very strong in the SDA Church), is acceptance of homosexuality. Bacchiocchi laments that there are more than 4,000 homosexuals in the SDA Church in southern California alone, and that sodomites have great power in Sabbatarian circles.

Kinship and Exodus

One group, SDA Kinship International, is actively working toward acceptance of sodomy in the Sabbatarian community. Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International, Inc., is a support group which ministers to the spiritual, emotional, and physical well being of Seventh-day Adventist lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and their family and friends. Kinship facilitates and promotes the understanding and affirmation of homosexual and bisexual Adventists among themselves and within the Seventh-day Adventist community, through education, advocacy and reconciliation. Founded in 1976, the nonprofit organization was incorporated in 1981 and has a board of 15 officers and 10 regional coordinators. The current list of members and friends includes well over one thousand people in 16 countries. SDA Kinship teaches that "the Bible does not condemn, or even mention, homosexuality as a sexual orientation."

A group with an opposite agenda is Exodus International, with offices in North America, Europe, Australia, and elsewhere. Although not Sabbatarian, they believe "A homosexual lifestyle is incompatible with discipleship of Jesus Christ according to the Word of God. Homosexual sin is just one of the many sins of a fallen creation. We seek to maintain the moral values of the Bible, even though they may differ from the morals of society. We seek to help people who feel isolated and rejected by society. Many people do not find it possible to talk about their homosexual problems with other Christians. We desire to be capable of meeting the needs of the whole person, not just those in the area of homosexuality. We believe that the message that we are each a new creature in Christ is the real answer that can be given to people struggling with homosexuality. We encourage homosexual people to commit their lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Who has paid the price for our sins, and Who offers us true life through the Holy Spirit. The whole process of change is Godís free gift which is available to all people." Contact Exodus International, P.O. Box 77652, Seattle, WA 98177, phone (206) 784-7799, or Exodus International Europe, P.O. Box 407, Watford, WD1 5DU, UNITED KINGDOM, phone 44 (0) 181 420 1066, Exodus International South Pacific, P.O. Box 308, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006, AUSTRALIA, phone 61 7 371 4705.

How tragic that many Sabbatarian homosexuals do not feel comfortable talking with other Sabbatarians about their weakness.

A Delicate Subject?

In the Church of God, can we openly spread the news how the Bible views homosexuality? This sin is the number one social and moral issue of our time. The Bible has the solution to the problem: eradication of evil thoughts and sexual perversion through the power of the Holy Spirit. However, it appears that many want to put their heads in the sand. Some say, "No homosexual could be in the Church of God," not realizing that this is the same as saying "no adulterer, no thief, no liar, etc., could be in the Church of God." Donít be foolish! There are all kinds of people in the Church dealing with varied sins and problems. Sodomy in some cases may be the end result of a desperate struggle for satisfaction and approval that was lost in childhood. Many have desires, but not all actually fulfill them by going all the way into sodomy.

Melvin Rhodes, a church pastor in the United Church of God in Michigan, says that there may be a higher percentage of people with homosexual tendencies in the Church of God than in the general population. This is the case in many other churches, reflecting the fact that people with homosexual tendencies often feel a greater need for God than those in the society as a whole. Those in the Churches of God are trying to hide their desires and seek God's help. God's Church should draw people with all kinds of weaknesses to the saving power of the Messiah.

Rhodes learned the hard way that preaching about homosexuality is not politically correct, even in the Church. In 1996 he preached a sermon on the Last Great Day which covered the sin of homosexuality. Although many of those who heard the sermon were very supportive and said it was time the issue was raised, those opposed were very vocal, including some of the Church's leadership. Tapes of the sermon were withdrawn from church libraries. It appears that same-sex attraction is a taboo subject in Sabbatarian circles. If we think that the problem does not exist inside the Church, we are kidding ourselves.

A recent poll in England showed that 87% of the British would have no problem with an homosexual or lesbian Prime Minister, and only 5% would object. The first gay Prime Minister will likely be a member of the "Tory," or Conservative party. The French legislature just voted to legalize all kinds of unions. Rhodes sees the homosexual movement as a juggernaut, while the Church of God puts its head in the sand. He highly recommends the book, Desires in Conflict, written by Joe Dallas, founder of Exodus International. You may order this book online from Giving and Sharing for $8.79 plus postage, or send $14 to Giving and Sharing.

For more information, contact Melvin Rhodes by phone at (517) 669-1448 or by E-mail at meldi01@sprynet.com.

Historyís Lesson

The Flashpoint of January, 1994, states, "History records that just before the collapse of every great empire and civilization, there is an almost total breakdown in morals. Rampant immorality and sexual perversion always lead to a resounding fall. In Imperial Rome, Emperors Nero, Caligula, and other reprobate ĎCaesarsí engaged in non-stop sexual orgies. They sodomized young boys and feasted their eyes and minds on pornography. Thus, the empire was dramatically weakened from within and could not stand.

"Hitlerís Germany also saw a rise in sodomy and sexual perversion, with Goering and other Nazi henchmen freely using illegal drugs, collecting porno Ďartí, and conducting homosexual orgies with little boys. Yet, the common people knew next to nothing about such wicked activities. . . . Arrogant and anti-Christian lesbians, homosexuals, and pedophile advocates now hold the reigns of political power, and the ĎD.C.í in Washington, D.C. has become the ĎDistrict of Corruptioní."

How a Christian Should React to Sodomites

We do not live under a theocracy like ancient Israel, where the death penalty was to be meted out to sodomites. God does not grant Christians the authority to be executioners. It is quite likely that Godís people today will come into contact with Sodomites at their jobs, schools, and public places. How should we react to homosexuals and lesbians? We should be like God, who, much as He hates sin, loves the sinner.

One pastor was accosted by a young homosexual with the standard line, "But, I was born that way, so I canít help it." The pastor replied, "Yes, I understand. I was born a sinner, too. I just worked out my sinful nature in a little different way. You see, I was a drunk and drug addict. Thereís really no difference between my sin and yours in Godís eyes. Let me tell you how Jesus saved me from my sin and how He can save you from yours" (from Battle Cry, Chick Publications). Yes, we all have sinful inclinations. The power of Godís Holy Spirit can convict us of our sins, and give us the power to overcome any sin. This is the key area that we need to discuss when confronted by sodomites. A homosexual or lesbian inclination may be in some people and not in others. Regardless, Godís powerful Holy Spirit is like dynamite (II Timothy 1:7); it can and does blow up any sin, and get rid of it.

On the job, at school, or with your neighbors, if you make it a point to befriend sinners who need help and love, your kindness may be the avenue to introduce them to the love of the Messiah, and Truth regarding homosexuality. The last thing a sodomite needs is a thundering judgment from you. He should get it from God and His Word.

You may, at times, be confronted by homosexuals who say that Jesus was a homosexual, and that the Bible justifies homosexuality. You have already been provided with abundant Scripture to overturn such twisted logic. I suggest that you review our article, "The Homosexual Question," in our 92-page book, Biblical Marriage and Family, on the Internet at www.giveshare.org/family.

Realize that the problem of sodomites is inside the Sabbatarian community as well. It is possible that you will meet a Sabbatarian who will justify his or her perversion. And, knowing human nature, it is likely that within the Church, there are occasional cases of sodomy, even within families. The Corinthian Church at one time condoned open incest, so it should not surprise us if similar problems are around today. Adult Church members who are discovered to be sodomites, especially promoters of sodomy, should be immediately put out of the Church. But, upon repentance, they should be fully accepted back into the fellowship. The Church should lovingly encourage them to overcome their sinful desires.

Young people in the Church who are being sexually abused by adults should know that they can confide and get help from their Church pastor, and that action will be taken to free them from such abuse, when proven. In addition, I am willing to accept confidential calls on our toll-free number, 888-687-5191 (weekends only, please). Young people, do not tolerate someone misusing your body sexually! Take action, NOW!

If you are tempted and/or tormented with homosexual thoughts, get on your knees and cry out to God to deliver you from temptations and evil thoughts. Tell another person, who is a follower of God, of your predicament. Yes, this is a risk! Carefully choose a person mature in the faith. This fellow believer will pray with you, help you, and work with you, thus fulfilling James 5:16.

Finally, know where your Churchís leaders stand on this issue. If you have not heard a sermon like this message, or seen a strong article against homosexuality from your group, this tells you that the problem of homosexuality is a low priority. Believe me, those promoting the homosexual agenda are not this lackadaisical. It is highly likely that there are sodomites in high offices in various Sabbatarian Churches, who wormed their way in while the Church slept.

As you may recall, the Bible sometimes uses the word "dog," to refer to homosexuals (Deuteronomy 23:18). "Dog" also refers to a Gentile or vicious person. We are to "beware of dogs, beware of evil workers . . ." Philippians 3:2. Revelation 22:14 exhorts us to do Godís commandments, that we might have right to the tree of life, and enter into the New Jerusalem. Verse 15 adds, "For without are dogs and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." Like Abraham, we should be more concerned for the innocent and naïve, than for the punishment of the wicked. If you have illicit sexual desires, may the Almighty deliver you and help you guard your mind from sin. May sodomites in the Church of God repent, before it is too late.

ó Written By Richard C. Nickels W